Notebook

Acer’s 17mm-thin Aspire S3 Macbook Air assassin hits the FCC, gets torn down

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Acer unveiled its 17mm thin Aspire S3 Macbook Air-killer at IFA this month, and today the ultrabook made an appearance on the FCC thanks to a filing by Qualcomm Atheros.  FCC filings show that the S3 won approval for its 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth capabilities, and the company’s filings even include an internal photo of the laptop, below.

The S3 is a 13.3-inch laptop with a aluminum-magnesium alloy exterior.  Under its hood, the S3 will feature Intel’s ultra low voltage Core i3, i5 and i7 processors.  Acer claims that the ultrabook will provide up to 7 hours of battery life, and will wake from sleep in just 1.5 seconds.  With prices starting at €799, or about $1,100, the S3 seems like a competent competitor to the Macbook Air.  No word yet on a release date for the S3 in the US.

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Lenovo’s super-thin IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook hits the FCC

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Lenovo unveiled its first ultrabook at IFA this week.  The device, known as the U300s, is just 0.6-inches thin and weighs just 2.2 pounds – that’s thinner and lighter than the Macbook Air.  Today, the U300s made its first appearance on the FCC, on schedule for Lenovo’s planned release next month.

The U300s is expected to retail for $1,200.  the device will feature an Intel Core i7 processor, SSD drive, and a 13.3-inch screen.  The U300s will offer up to eight hours of battery life, and the device’s battery can charge to 50% in just 30 minutes.

Dell Panerai convertible tablet hits the FCC

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We don’t have much to go on here, but today a previously unannounced Dell convertible tablet notebook made an appearance on the FCC.  The device is referred to as the “Panerai” in FCC filings, although we’re not sure if this code name has anything to do with the Panerai brand of watches.

You can see the bottom of the Panerai above, as published in FCC label location photos.  Additional information from SAR test reports confirm that the device has both laptop and tablet modes, suggesting that this is indeed a convertible tablet.

Other than that, we don’t have much else to report.  The Panerai passed through the FCC thanks to a filing by Intel for a Centrino Wireless-N card, so little information about the tablet itself is detailed in FCC filings.

Apple to unveil new MacBook Pro with Light Peak this week? Here’s a roundup of the rumors.

When the Internets get word of a possible new Apple product, it’s big news.  This weekend, hints that Apple would soon be introducing a new MacBook, possibly as soon as next week, started to surface from a number of sources.  Here’s a roundup of what we’ve heard so far.

Apple Insider:  Apple stores have been told to expect “sealed packages” next week, along with instructions not to break the integrity of these packages until a specific date.  These instructions suggest that the packages contain a still-unannounced product that will be launched as soon as next week.

9to5Mac:  New MacBook Pros will be coming next week.  Ship dates for existing Apple MacBook Pros have increased to 2-4 days, rather than the normal 24 hours.  This suggests that Apple’s supply of MacBooks is dwindling in preparation for a new launch.

SlideToMac:  Unnamed sources report that five new laptops are coming from Apple next week.  Two of these will be upgrades to the MacBook Pro 13”, two will be upgrades to the MacBook Pro 15”, and one will be a new version of the 17” MacBook Pro.

Engadget:  New Apple laptop SKUs have shown up on Best Buy’s Laptop Discovery Tool, with price points ranging from $1200 to $2500.  No word on exactly what these laptops will be, or when they will be released.  They are only listed as “coming soon” in Best Buy’s Laptop Discovery Tool.

CNET:  Expect an announcement about a new high-speed connection technology from Apple “soon.”  Referred to internally as Light Peak, this technology would replace the many connectors that we use today for monitors, drives, printers, etc.  Relying on copper, Light Peak will carry data at 10GB per second in both directions simultaneously – much faster than USB 3.0.  Light Peak will likely be integrated into Apple’s new MacBooks, which are rumored to be launching on February 24th.

TUAW:  There are multiple indicators that the MacBook Pro lineup will be refreshed on February 24th.  New Apple MacBook Pros were already expected in the first half of 2011, but recently there have been shortages in inventory of the current MacBook Pro lineup.  Multiple sources have reported that the MacBook Pro will be updated sometime between late February and March.

Tom’s Hardware:  Pictures of new MacBook Pros may have been accidentally leaked in Intel ads, above.  A number of sources suggest that the laptop pictured above is a new version of the MacBook Pro, although of course this could just be an image of a stock laptop.  Still, Intel has leaked pictures of Apple products before, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they did it again.

Viewed individually, the validity of these articles is not convincing.  But with so many sources reporting that we will see a new MacBook Pro as early as next week, we’re inclined to think something is up.  At the very least, if you’re thinking of buying a MacBook Pro, you should at least hold off for a couple of weeks.

Samsung’s ultra thin Series 9 notebook hits the FCC on schedule for a February release

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Samsung turned heads at CES this year with its ultra-thin Series 9 notebook.  The device features a 13.3” screen with a 1366×768 resolution, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, WiFi and WiMAX – all in a package that weights less than 3 pounds and measures only 0.64” thin.

Today, the Series 9 made an appearance on the FCC, thanks to a filing by Broadcom.  FCC filings don’t provide a good look at the Series 9, other than the label photo above, but you can spot the device’s model number 900X3A on its WiFi label.

The Series 9 is expected to launch in February 2011, and today’s FCC filing suggests that the device is on schedule.  We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Check out a video of the Series 9′s sleek form factor, below:

Dell’s Brooks 15” notebook hits the FCC with UWB, 3G

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A new laptop from Dell, called the Brooks 15”, made an appearance on the FCC today.  We don’t know much about the device, but label location pics, above, show labels for an ultra-wideband card, WWAN and WiFi.

It appears that the Brooks 15” will use some of the same wireless components as Dell’s Precision M4600 and Precision M6600 laptops.  However, there’s no confirmation that the Brooks will be part of Dell’s Precision lineup.

We don’t have any word on pricing or availability, but the notebooks confidential materials will be revealed on February 3rd, 2011, so it’s likely that we’ll know more about the Brook 15” by then.

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